Constitutional Change Could Trigger ‘Political Instability’: Shwe Mann
BURMA

Constitutional Change Could Trigger ‘Political Instability’: Shwe Mann

Aung San Suu Kyi meets with Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann in Naypyidaw in December 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

RANGOON — Union Parliament speaker and chairman of Burma’s ruling party, Shwe Mann, has publicly warned against being “too greedy” when seeking amendments to the 2008 Constitution, saying disagreements over the charter could cause “political instability.”

Shwe Mann made the remarks during a visit to Sagaing Division’s Monywa District, according to state media, which quoted him as saying, “We need to learn from the past, we have a bitter history with amending the Constitution.”

The leader of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which is the political incarnation of Burma’s former military junta, said now was a good time to begin amending the Constitution, but warned politicians and the public to not be too demanding in their aspirations.

“If we look at international community standards [for amending a Constitution], we should not be too greedy when we make constitutional amendments,” he said.

Shwe Mann claimed disagreements over the Constitution could lead to political upheaval like in the Middle East, where several countries have experienced unrest and internal conflict in recent years.

“It was sad to see political instability in the Middle East and some countries in Africa. There, political instability harmed properties of the people and the country. This should not to happen in our country. Our country needs to wisely decide on amendments of the constitution,” he said.

Burma’s Constitution was drafted in 2008 by the then military regime and is widely considered as being undemocratic because it gives great political powers to the army, which controls a quarter of the legislative and can veto any proposed constitutional amendment.

The charters also prevents opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from becoming president as Article 59(F) states that Burma’s president cannot have a spouse or children with a foreign nationality. Suu Kyi’s late husband was a British citizen, as are her two sons.

In recent months, the National League for Democracy (NLD) leader has been publicly increasing pressure on the USDP-dominated Parliament and the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein, calling on them to back broad-ranging amendments ahead of the 2015 national elections.

Many ethnic armed groups are also demanding changes to the charter, as it concentrates political power over Burma’s ethnic, resource-rich regions in the hands of the central government in Naypyidaw.

The USDP has dragged its feet on discussions over constitutional change, however. In December, the party proposed a small change to Article 59 (f) that would allow Suu Kyi to become president as long as her two sons renounce their British citizenship and become Burmese citizens. Suu Kyi has rejected the proposal.

Last week, Shwe Mann said the USDP would “not block” amendments to Article 59(F), but added that this change was not the party’s main focus.

The US Ambassador to Burma Derek Mitchell recently called Article 59(F) “a relic of the past” and questioned why some politicians continue to resist changing it.


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15 Responses to Constitutional Change Could Trigger ‘Political Instability’: Shwe Mann

  1. Daw Su cannot be the president of Myanmar.
    Because she wants to become the president of Burma.

  2. I will say it again….reforms only correct past mistakes – revolutions transfer power.

  3. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    • Absolutely spot on.

      Like they weren’t too greedy when they drew up this ridiculous joke of a constitution. It’s not even funny.

      Is Shwe Mann now playing both the bad cop and the good cop?

      Sure sign that whilst they might concede revoking 59-f, the 25% is off limits.

  4. Is he showing his color? If the constitution is not amended, there is no way armed conflict with the ethnics will end. NLD, majority of Myanmar and all ethnics do not like this constitution and this current regime. Shwe Mann is sending negative signal to us. We do not care USDP and fake democratic regime of Thein Sein.

  5. What a load of bull. How can you ever trust people like that? They say one thing here and another there as soon as your back is turned. I cannot imagine how such a person as Daw Suu could work with them. Maybe, because also Burmese (Bama) herself. But at least culturally out of place Bama. Her father believed them and got killed. What’s the children got to do with anything? Why can’t they be magnanimous for once and let things be as their saying goes, ‘cheima makaung cheima; letma makaung letma’(let it be the toe if it’s not good and not to put the blame on the thumb). We have to rise above this ‘nasty, petty, cruel mentally’ and be a man for once. They’ve wrecked the country for fifty years and they do not seem to have enough. May they choke of their stolen goods.

  6. George Than Setkyar Heine

    “It was sad to see political instability in the Middle East and some countries in Africa. There, political instability harmed properties of the people and the country. This should not to happen in our country. Our country needs to wisely decide on amendments of the constitution,” he said.
    Shwe Mann’s quote as above is NOTHING SHORT OF A VEILED THREAT and HIS ANSWER/RESPONSE as well in regard to CALLS for AMENDMENTS on his MASTER’S (Than Shwe) PLAN – 2008 Nargis constitution – INSTRUMENTAL for ETERNAL SUBJUGATION of BURMA UNDER THE MILITARY BOOT as well.
    The POLITICAL UPHEAVALS still ONGOING in the Middle East and Africa are OBVIOUS INDICATIONS/SHOWS of PEOPLE POWER AT WORK AGAINST DICTATORS in the same ILK/VEIN of the LOT at Naypyidaw today, in case Shwe Mann failed to note yet.
    And IT ADDS MUCH CREDENCE to the FACT and TRUTH: DICTATORS NEVER GIVE UP/SURRENDER THEIR ILL-GOTTEN POWER and PROPERTY VOLUNTARILY, my oft spoken and much publicized BELIEF/SLOGAN as well today.
    As long as the DICTATORS whether in uniform or civilian attire EXIST/HOLD SWAY/WIELD CLOUT in the POLITICAL PICTURE of BURMA or in any country’s on earth as well for that matter the POLITICAL INSTABILITY/UPHEAVALS of any/every sort and dimension would be IN ORDER, lest Shwe Mann forgets as well.
    Suu Kyi and her NLD have CALLED for AMENDMENTS on 168 CLAUSES in Than Shwe drawn CONSTITUTION with a view to CHANGE the MILITARY DOMINATED CHARTER into a DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTION as WILLED/DESIRED by the PEOPLE of BURMA and ACCEPTABLE by the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY as well no less.
    Despite the FACT not to mention the REASON and RIGHT of the PEOPLE to CALL as well for DEMOCRATIC REFORMS in Than Shwe/military drawn CONSTITUTION Shwe Mann is BARKING/THREATENING at Suu Kyi led NLD and the PEOPLE of BURMA in particular for DOING THE RIGHT THING – call for constitutional reforms – today folks!
    Shwe Mann is PROGRAMMED/TRAINED to COERCE, INTIMIDATE and ultimately PULL THE TRIGGER on ORDERS only as well, don’t argue man.
    Hence, he has NO BRAIN of HIS OWN (DISCRETION of HIS OWN) other than to OBEY/FOLLOW ORDERS since day one until today. PITY FOR THE MAN, of course.
    FEET DRAGGING/STALLING for AFFECTING DEMOCRATIC REFORMS in the military dominated CONSTITUTION on the part of Shwe Mann, simply EVIDENCED/SHOW CASED HIS HIDDEN AGENDA – cover/protect Than Shwe’s ASS/ASSETS – in the first place, any bets?
    The DEBUT of a DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTION in BURMA could/would CULMINATE in the DEMISE of DICTATORS/DICTATORIAL RULES in the country and that would include Than Shwe led mob – including Shwe Mann as well no doubt – BANNED to HISTORY and OBLIVION, for running amok in Burma since day one and until today at Naypyidaw trust me.
    Hence, BEST BET for Shwe Mann and his BOSS (Than Shwe) as well is my sincere SUGGESTION.
    DISCRETION IS THE BETTER PART of VALOR of course.
    GUN/GUN BOAT DIPLOMACY IS NON-APPLICABLE much less WORK IN TODAY’S CIVILIZED SOCIETY/WORLD as well, if you guys don’t know yet.
    And MIGHT DOESN’T COUNT MUCH in CIVILIZED SOCIETY as well man!
    DIALOGUE and RECONCILIATION are the KEYS for CIVILITY and FRATERNITY of course.
    And the PEOPLE POWER is the DEATH KNELL for ANY/EVERY DICTATOR ON THIS EARTH, as evidenced in history and today as well, you bet.
    Of course BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, guys!
    And TIME’S UP for the LOT at Naypydaw they say.

  7. Shwe Mann and his family greatly benefit from Than Shwe’s dictatorship. Shwe Mann family has power and money earned improperly. So, there is no way Shwe Mann may relinquish power to real elected people. He talked about supporting constitutional amendment but it was just lip’s service. He never wants to allow Suu Kyi becomes President of the Union of Myanmar. He tries to behave like a real man. Actually he is not a man but one of the beasts who devoured many lives including the lives of the monks. Than Shwe, Maung Aye, Shwe Mann and Thein Sein came from the same family called military dictatorship. If you trust Thein Sein and Shwe Mann, you are just a dumb person. If you trust them, you will get swallowed and you will end up in their fat bellies and they will poop you out of their smelly asses.

  8. Suu Kyi along with majority of the Burmese people are standing with the ethnics for real democracy. To achieve real democracy, they all agree that undemocratic 2008 constitution must be fixed first. USDP must be sore loser in 2015 election but we all believe that USDP will cheat the result and keep themselves on the throne death or alive.

  9. Schwe Mann wants to be frugal in granting DASSK political capital, since much of the political capital would come at his own expense. But without DASSK and Thein Sein, Schwe Mann wouldn’t have much political capital at all, since DASSK provides much of the political capital of the government. By granting her more political capital, there is much more of it in the country as a whole. While it is uncertain how effective of a leader she will be, the government itself attains a boost in legitimacy, both domestically and internationally, by allowing a meaningful role for her in running the country. Keeping her out of this is what would significantly increase political instability. I’m sure Schwe Mann could make arrangements to grant DASSK a meaningful roles in government, while retaining significant power.

  10. A few weeks ago,he told the audiences that it would be a crime if we didn’t amend constitution.Unbelievable.All seem to be trash.

  11. A game by Than Shwe and so his lackey Shwe Mann play along.

    Than Shwe is the mastermind for all this, so that nobody can challenge his power base.

    Mind you, the country is heading towards a similar crisis of ’88 – sooner or later.

  12. Maung Lu Aye ( Law ) R.A.S.U. 1976

    Union Parliament Speaker & Chairman Shwe Mann has Publicly warned against being ” Too Greedy ” when seeking amendments to 2008 Constitution saying disagreement over the Charter could cause Political Instability .
    Dear Young Brother / Nyi Lay Shwe Mann, I’ve felt deeply Sorry that You still have Army’s BrainWashed Mentality . ” In Order Not to be Stupid ” what Dr, Than Tun said, Please try hard to Read Burmese , World History & Current World Affairs. You are not learning enough yet . Middle East & Some African Countries recently experienced Unrest & Internal Conflicts because of the Dictatorships & At Least 20 Dictators like Omar Al Bashir-Sudan ,Kim Jong Un- North Korea , Robert Mugabe-Zimbabwe ,Fidel Castro- Cuba including Than Shwe -Burma, Not Myanmar . In those Countries, Disagreement over the Constitution lead to the Political Upheaval, might cause One of the Fact , but Not the Principle Fact . Governing & Oppressing with Iron Fist , Bullying, intimidating, killing, Raping , Torturing , Imprisonment , Confiscating People’s Land are the Principle factors of Political Instabilities in Burma . Not the Too Greedy to amend the 2008 Constitution Which Majority Over 60 Millions Burmese Citizens Disapproved.
    Late Gen Aung San had said Already that If you have No Discipline, Burma would become Whore Country. And You Guys had Knowingly or Unknowingly put the Country into Whore Country Deep into the Abyss.
    Nyi Lay Shwe Mann , Believe me , the Western Countries including USA have No trustworthy Upon Quasi-Govt although they have so much Sympathy upon Burmese Citizens .Just Crystal Clear that You Guys Ex-Generals , Generals go back to your Barracks instead of Meddling , fooling around Dirty Politics in Burma which Prolong Dictatorship . And trying to Legitimate Your Quasi Govt & Nargis Constitution depend upon the People / the Benefactors, Not the Govt. Govt is the Servant of the People .

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